Farming Rural 04

Ray Preston Karriker

February 25, 1929 ~ April 30, 2022 (age 93)

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Ray Preston Karriker, 93, of Mooresville, passed away peacefully at Best of Care Assisted Living on April 30, 2022 after a month-long residency.

Ray Preston was born on February 25, 1929 in Rowan County. He was the cherished son of Guy Preston Karriker and Eula Deal Karriker. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Campbell; and special brothers-in-law, Paul Campbell and Rev. Charles Macmurphy.

Ray Preston graduated from Landis High School in 1947 and attended NC State University graduating in 1952. After graduating from college Ray Preston went on to bravely serve in the United States Army as a Special Forces 1st Lieutenant. He trained as a paratrooper with anticipation of going to Korea.  However, the war ended before he was deployed.  He married the love of his life, Shelby Freeze Karriker on October 27, 1956.  Ray Preston spent his career working as a Dairy Farmer and milked his cows until the age of 81. He was named Outstanding Young Farmer by the Salisbury and West Rowan Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1963.  He loved attending church and was a lifetime member of Concordia Lutheran. He served as Chairman and member of the church council for many terms, taught Sunday School and sang in the church choir since the 1950’s. Ray Preston loved his family very much and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

In these last months of physical limitations, he never complained and kept a positive attitude with a sense of humor that delighted all who were fortunate enough to spend time with him.

Those left to cherish his memory include his loving wife of 65 years, Shelby Freeze Karriker; children, Kim Karriker (James Crook), Anna Bradshaw (Perry), Melanie Deal (Alan), Pratt Karriker (Shasta), Miriam Lowery (Michael); grandchildren, Gabriel, Bethany Baxley (Justin) and Jeremiah Bradshaw, Savannah Deal, Lee and Seth Karriker, Brooke and Ty Lowery; and sister, Phyllis Macmurphy.

The family wishes to thank Crystal Fowler, Hollie Hampton, Sara Kimball and Hazel Murphy for their gentle and compassionate love, care and attention given to our father in these last years.

Services to honor Mr. Karriker’s life will be held at 4:00 pm on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Concordia Lutheran Church in China Grove, with the Rev. Ken Reed officiating. Public viewing will begin at 3:15 in the sanctuary.  Burial will immediately follow the funeral service in the church cemetery. Friends and family are invited to stay for a visitation that will be held at the Family Life Center located in the church after the burial.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Organ and Piano Music Ministry Fund at Concordia Lutheran.

Online condolences may be left at

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Funeral Service
May 5, 2022

4:00 PM
Concordia Lutheran Church
185 Concordia Church Road
China Grove, NC 28023

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